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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Perth, Australia
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring, Year
  • Budget Sheets: Fall, Spring
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: No previous study
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Credit Available For: College
Other Eligibility Requirements: Prior Coursework as Required by Subject Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad
Housing Options: University Residence Hall/Apartment Application Deadline: Fall/Year: March 1, Spring: October 15
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

University of Western Australia

BWA LogoEstablished in 1911, The University of Western Australia is Western Australia's premier university and one of Australia's most prestigious educational institutions. The University's ground-breaking research, quality academic staff and state-of-the-art facilities combine to offer a vibrant student experience for approximately 24,400 students, of whom approximately 4,000 are international. The University has a strong commitment to excellence and this underpins all its activities, particularly in the areas of teaching and research. The dual strengths of research and research training set UWA apart as one of Australia's leading research-intensive universities, and the University has one of the highest allocations of research funds in Australia. UWA is responsible for almost 70 per cent of university-based research in Western Australia, attracting researchers of international standing, many of whom are working in the numerous research centers at the University. It is the only Western Australian university to belong to the Group of Eight - a coalition of the top research universities in Australia - and it was ranked 96th in the world in the highly respected Shanghai-Jiao Tong University's 2012 Academic Ranking of World Universities.
UWA's main campus is located on the banks of the Swan River in the suburb of Crawley, a mere 10 minutes from Perth's central business district. Its beautiful location is among the most picturesque in the nation with its grand sandstone and terracotta buildings sitting among elegant heritage-listed gardens.
For additional information, visit the University of Western Australia website
The City of Perth

With a population of 1.75 million, Perth is the capital of Western Australia (the country’s largest state), and Australia’s fourth largest city. It is located right on the banks of the Swan River and is within a short walk from King’s Park, one of the world’ largest inner city parks (larger than Central Park). Located on the coast just 30 minutes from Perth’s city center is the bustling and dynamic port city of Fremantle, renowned for its anything-goes attitude and creativity. Due to the mining boom in Western Australia, Perth has become a hub for research and energy, providing a great setting for students interested in engineering and similar disciplines.

Did you know…?

Perth houses the oldest operating mint in Australia. The Perth Mint in Hay Street is Australia's oldest operating mint that still runs from its original premises. This mint was established in 1899 and has carved out a niche in producing gold, silver and platinum coins. 



The program at the University of Western Australia is for College credit only.

Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0


Language of Instruction



A full course load at the University of Western Australia consists of four classes per semester (although some students have the option of taking five courses).  Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.

Penn students have the freedom to select any course which is offered during their exchange semester as long as they meet the prerequisite requirements and if there are vacancies available.

UWA Academic Calendar
UWA Course Catalog for Incoming Exchange Students
Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average.  The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.

Grades are reported to Penn on the UWA scale and then converted to Penn grades according to the following grade equivalencies:
UWA Grade Penn Grade
>75 A
70-74 A-
65-69 B+
60-64 B
57-59 B-
54-56 C+
50-53 C
45-49 D
0-44 F

Special Features

BWA Special FeaturesOrientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by the University of Western Australia prior to the start of each semester.  More information on UWA’s orientation activities can be found on the UniStart International website.

Internship Opportunities

UWA has a range of placements and practicums available to students, including industry-based experiences and research opportunities. Further details on available options that students studying abroad may be eligible to pursue during time in Perth is available on the Industry Connections website.

BWA Special FeaturesStudent Associations

Penn students studying at the University of Western Australia have access to a wide range of student activities and associations. Most of the social life on campus is organized through the UWA Student Guild which is the representative student organization. Nearly 100 years old, the Guild has a reputation for being one of the most active and social in Australia. It organizes countless activities, a fringe festival, campus band and DJ competition and supports 70 clubs and societies. It also helps students who are interested in volunteering.

UWA Sports oversees all of the athletic spaces on campus, as well as university sports teams. The University has a Recreation & Fitness Centre, Watersports & Leadership Centre, as well as a Sport & Research Park, which consists of 33 hectares of sporting facilities and playing fields.


Participants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

BWA CampusPenn students are strongly encouraged to apply for a spot in one of the five residential colleges. These colleges are not all owned by the university; some are merely associated with it. Residential colleges welcome students into a unique community and foster participation in college life. Since each college has its own unique culture and identity, students are encouraged to research the options before submitting an application. The Colleges provide both academic and spiritual support for resident students, as well as opportunities for extracurricular activities and for developing friendships with other students from all faculties. Educational programs of small-group tutorials are supported by facilities such as libraries, computer rooms, and music practice rooms. All Colleges provide meals, though the exact number varies. Residential college charges include utilities and the use of many facilities, as well as academic and personal support, opportunities for extracurricular involvement, and the chance to belong to a friendly community. Students interested in meeting Australians should give this option serious consideration as the colleges consist of a large Australian student population.
Students not desiring to reside in a residential college or who are not given a spot in a college may obtain their own housing arrangements off-campus in shared furnished houses or flats within an easy commuting distance of campus. Students living off-campus prepare their own meals and cover their own cost of commuting. Since it can be difficult to find accommodation, students opting for off-campus housing, should plan to arrive in Perth a few weeks before the start of the semester to allow ample time to find an apartment if they have not secured accommodation prior to arriving in Perth.

Information regarding accommodation can be found here.

Cost and Finance

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.

Budget Sheets


Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

2 scholarships will be awarded to students for Spring 2018 semester. Talk to the Global Programs Manager that oversees this program for more information. 

Next Steps

For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics in Perth, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.